The Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK blinds and shutters brands has just been published. Learn how the top 11 UK blinds and shutters brands perform across the digital space.
The latest Q3 2023 benchmarking report for UK blinds and shutters suppliers has just been published. It covers the largest 11 national blinds and shutters brands, including Hillarys, Blinds 2 Go, Blinds Direct, Just Shutters, 247 Blinds, Eclipse Blinds, Shuttercraft, Homefair Blinds and Shutters, Shutterly Fabulous, Perfect Shutters, and Plantation Shutters.
The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other blinds and shutters brands to win brand exposure locally, drive online views, and generate orders. The report highlights quick wins that will improve enquiries from your online strategy and identifies the barriers that may be reducing your site’s ability to optimise digital performance.
To see a preview and contents page of the Q3 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call.
What The Industry Research Report Covers
The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each site based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.
Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels
Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing. Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.
Technical Website Compliance
Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Having a technically sound website will ensure potential customers can find the information and products they're looking for when it comes to browsing for new blinds and shutters.
Blinds and shutters brands still have generally well-maintained sites, with minimal levels of technical errors. However, just as in our last report, Just Shutters is showing the most 4xx errors within our audits, now with a total of 279 (up 22 errors since Q2). Our advice to Just Shutters is to identify these broken links within its internal linking structure, and to re-link to alternative, relevant content.
Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance
When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. While site speed might not seem the most pressing issue for brands within the home interiors sector, blinds and shutters brands will still benefit from having a fast site which instills a positive impression of the brand from first click.
In Q2, five blinds and shutters brands had surpassed the 'okay' benchmark of 50. However, due to universal falls in mobile page speed scores, across all sectors we specialise in, this figure now sits at 2. Perfect Shutters, which was the lowest-scoring site for Q2, with only 11, is now the second-fastest site - recording a score of 51. Brands which are struggling with site speed should ensure that images are well-optimised and sized appropriately for web browsers - a simple, yet impactful, step that many brands forget to take.
Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority
Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Blinds and shutters brands have a wealth of opportunity to build backlinks and improve their domain authority, and can work with external publications and bloggers to build trust, visibility, and referral traffic.
Hillarys are the only blinds and shutters brand to achieve an excellent score, with a domain authority of 63. In Q2, we noted that Blinds 2 Go had a staggering 838,492 backlink in total, from only 3,887 referring domains, indicating links from poor-quality sites may be marring the site's backlink profile. Blinds 2 Go's backlink profile is now made up of 691,785 backlinks from 4,586 referring domains - while this is still an extraordinarily large number, steps have clearly been taken to remove and disavow poor quality links to steadily improve on this ratio.
Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop
A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. Only two blinds and shutters brands in our report have gained organic traffic year on year, which is unsurprising due to the cost of living crisis and need for many consumers to cut back on luxuries and outgoings.
In Q2, the biggest losses had been seen by Perfect Shutters and Homefair Blinds, which had lost 71% and 97% of organic traffic year on year. While Perfect Shutters has reduced this loss to 63% in Q3, with Homefair Blinds reducing its fall in traffic to 44%, Perfect Shutters is now losing the most digital footfall, year on year. Care should be taken to not lose more ground to competitors than necessary and to ensure sites are optimised for high conversion potential search terms that capitalise on a limited audience.
Universal Search Opportunity
Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a site can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. Brands within home improvement sectors, such as blinds and shutters, should look particularly to Image Pack results as an opportunity to display products from the SERP itself, and entice users to visit their site.
'Image' results are the most appeared-for Universal Search result, with each brand securing some appearances for the result type. Blinds Direct has secured the most 'image' appearances, making 6,600 appearances for the eye catching result.
The Longtail Keyword Opportunity
Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Blinds and shutters brands should be looking at high-potential keywords which show a strong conversion intention, such as 'buy blinds with fitting' or 'window shutters next day installation'.
Hillarys is still ranking for the most longtail keywords overall however, both Blinds 2 Go and Blinds Direct are out-performing Hillarys when it comes to securing rankings in the top three results. Hillarys is still ranking for the most longtail keywords in positions 4-20, and can look to these keywords as a first port of call for reclaiming the lead.
With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that brands have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. Facebook ads are a great way for blinds and shutters brands to reach people who are specifically looking to make improvements to their homes.
We've included examples of Homefair Blinds and Shutters Facebook ads below. Homefair has used the same creative across three as - a static image that is vertically formatted, allowing the brand to maximise the space taken up on mobile users' screens. Using the same creative across three different sets of copy, allows Homefair to asses the impact of different tones of voice and calls to action, which can then be applied to future campaigns.
Top Social Shares & Content
When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Blinds and shutters brands can use social media to join in with trending homeware images and content, such as sharing seasonal styling inspiration along with any offers or sales events they're holding.
Though we usually see brands favour Facebook when creating and sharing content, Blinds 2 Go is favouring Pinterest for generating social shares. As a platform known for being a go-to for interior design inspiration, this is a smart move in ensuring they're reaching its target audience, looking for home design inspiration.
Website Readability & Accessibility
20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. For blinds and shutters brands, while it may be tempting to favour visuals over function, care should be taken that their site remains accessible and easy to read.
Our research is still flaggeing 196 alerts for Blinds Direct (up from 186 in Q2), indicating improvements must be made to become more accessible for users. In addition, 47 contrast errors have been flagged, showing areas where text and background colours are too similar. Blinds Direct must ensure their brand colour palette provides opportunity for sufficient contrast, as well as stylistic emphasis.
Q3 2023 WINNERS LEADERBOARD
For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 11 blinds and shutters brands on, check out our quick-look table below;
GET THE FULL 79-PAGE Q3 2023 REPORT
To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.